Evidence Shows Early Weight Gain Tied to Large Body Size

Large body size and faster growth at young age associated with larger body size at ages 5 to 13

FRIDAY, July 29 (HealthDay News) -- Large body size in children between the ages of 5 and 6 months, and weight gain during the first two years of life have a positive association with larger body size at the ages of 5 to 13 years, according to a review published in the August issue of Obesity Reviews.

Tanja Stocks, Ph.D., from VU University in Amsterdam, Netherlands, and colleagues reviewed literature on body size and growth in children between the ages of 0 and 4 years and the correlation with body size at ages 5 to 13 years. A total of 43 studies, mainly from developed Western countries, concerning body size and growth were included considering body size at baseline (21 studies) and weight gain related to growth (31 studies). Twenty-three of the studies were evaluated as high-quality, including eight on body size and 15 on weight gain.

The investigators identified a positive association between body size and weight gain in early childhood to subsequent body size, which supported conclusions from earlier studies. A consistent positive association was observed between body size at 5 to 6 months of age and body size in later childhood; weight gain at 0 to 2 years of age was also associated with high body size later. Similar results were observed in seven studies from developing countries.

"Large body size as of 5 to 6 months of age, and fast weight gain before 2 years of age, are related to large body size at ages 5 to 13 years," the authors write.

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